A small Christian student body with a large homeschool population is challenging the rules of elite liberal colleges and bringing education back to “sense,” the founder of an SAT alternative told Fox News.
“There are tons of people with college degrees,” Jeremy Tate, founder of the Classic Learning Test, told Fox News. “There’s a shortage of people with the kind of work ethic and integrity that employers are looking for right now.”
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Tate, a former college counselor, said Patrick Henry College graduates have a stronger work ethic than their peers at traditional schools and are better disciplined. He credited their success to the conservative faith-based university’s large home school population, campus ban on devices, and student dress code.
“They’re shaping up young people in all the right ways,” Tate said. “It’s a return to Zen. It’s a return to common sense.”
Academic rigor, American founding lessons and a biblical worldview “are commitments that set Patrick Henry College apart from any other college in the world,” a PHC spokesperson told Fox News. “PHC prepares its graduates for immediate and lasting commitment to Christ and freedom.”
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At Patrick Henry, 75 percent of enrolled students were choosing homes after high school, according to a PHC spokeswoman. Tate, whose company administers an alternative standardized test to the SAT or ACT for college admissions, said homeschoolers who took the CLT test outperformed their peers on the test.
Homeschoolers scored an average of 78 points, while private and charter school students scored 75 and 73, respectively, according to a Houston teacher’s analysis of CLT data between 2016 and 2021. Public school students scored the lowest with an average score of 66. .
Homeschoolers are outperforming their peers on Tate’s alternative college admissions test, the Classic Learning Test. (iStock)
“Homeschoolers are kind of off the charts,” Tate said. “So when you have that concentration of them in one university … the university itself is able to take that education and spread it.”
Patrick Henry “is getting students who come to college with a great foundation, a great foundation,” he continued. “They’re able to offer a program that’s deep in the fundamentals, deep in the humanities where students graduate, and they’re killing it on the LSAT.”
Patrick Henry seniors who took the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) in 2021 scored an average of 171, in the 98th percentile nationally, a school spokeswoman said. Undergraduates at the state’s top universities averaged 171 or higher, according to US News & World Report.
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Tate said students are drawn to schools like Patrick Henry because of the university’s focus on classical education. He also said that unlike many universities, Patrick Henry doesn’t fixate on social justice and “woke” curricula.
Nationally, college enrollment has declined 4.2 percent nationwide since 2020, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. But Patrick Henry College has seen an uptick in applicants since 2017, according to a college spokeswoman.
Tate said some college rules also help with success.
“You walk around campus and generally they’re not on their devices and they’re not touching their devices in class,” Tate said. “At most large public universities and two-thirds of kids are sitting in your regular lecture hall, they’re scrolling through TikTok or Instagram all the time.”
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Tate says Patrick Henry College’s focus on classical education is a return to “sensitivity” compared to the wake-up plan of some liberal colleges. (Fox News Digital)
Patrick Henry students also adhere to a dress code.
“You compare that to a lot of college campuses right now, where it seems like every day is pajama day,” Tate said. “It really changes the culture.”
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Tate told Fox News that about a third of his staff are Patrick Henry graduates.
“I can’t recruit them enough,” Tate said. “I think what employers really want is young people who are ethically grounded, hardworking (and) disciplined.”
For Tate’s full interview, click here.
Megan Myers is an Associate Producer/Writer at Fox News Digital Originals.